Lawmakers return to Washington this week with House and Senate leaders saying a short-term continuing resolution would buy time to negotiate a full-year spending deal and avoid a government shutdown.
Some House conservatives, though, are insisting certain demands be included in any spending deal. They've even said a shutdown might not be a bad thing.
The Senate returns to work on Tuesday, and the House will be back next week.
Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the next fiscal year. Failing to reach an agreement could mean the federal government would partially shut down at the start of October.
Hundreds of thousands of federal workers could be furloughed and national parks would be closed, though critical services would continue to function, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A continuing resolution would extend current funding levels for a few months, giving the House and Senate time to reach a deal on spending, pass it through both chambers, and have it signed by President Joe Biden.
However, the conservative House Freedom Caucus is demanding that a chamber-passed border-security bill be attached to any short-term deal.
The group also declared on social media site X that it will oppose any stopgap government funding bill that fails to address the "weaponization" of the Department of Justice and "woke" military policies.
The House, which will have 12 legislative days in session before Oct. 1, has so far passed only one of the 12 spending bills.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday sent a letter to Democrat senators saying the Senate’s top focus will be on funding the government.
Schumer suggested the blame for any shutdown would lie with "House Republican extremists," the Journal reported.
"We cannot afford the brinkmanship or hostage-taking we saw from House Republicans earlier this year [during a fight to each a debt-ceiling deal] when they pushed our country to the brink of default to appease the most extreme members of their party," Schumer said, adding that the Senate has passed all 12 of the required appropriations bills out of committees on a bipartisan basis.
Reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and renewing the farm bill, which funds such programs as food stamps, as well as agreeing on additional funding for Ukraine and disaster relief for Vermont, Hawaii, and Florida are also on the Senate’s agenda.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has signaled he wants to move ahead with the chamber’s version of the appropriations bills and dismiss the House versions that propose federal spending levels below those agreed to in the debt-ceiling deal.
"That's not going to be replicated in the Senate," McConnell warned last week, the Journal reported.
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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